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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Australians choose a rocky road

Sou | 9:49 AM Go to the first of 43 comments. Add a comment
Australians voted yesterday and, against the odds, decided to opt for speeding up climate change and destroying our wonderful land.

We had two main choices: a plan to invest in a "fair go" future setting the tone for the difficult years ahead; and a choice to defer that investment, wreck our agriculture, and transfer more wealth to the high end of town.

Australians chose the latter.

Don't get me wrong. The Australian Labor Party is far from perfect. It, too, doesn't fully appreciate the damage we are doing to our world. Nor does it fully appreciate the fragility of Australia and the dangers we face. Nevertheless, overall the choices it offered were a lesser evil than those of the Liberal National coalition.

The question is, should Australians and the world suffer because a slim majority voted against the well-being of farmers, fishers, foresters and everyone in our towns and cities? Should we stand by and allow the destruction of our rivers, grasslands, forests and precious seas because that's what slightly more than half the population voted for?

The answer is a partial yes. That's democracy. That's how our society works.

We chose to elect a government that promises continuing economic mismanagement, increasing the divide between rich and poor, delaying technological advances, depriving Australians of modern transport, and ruining our rivers and seas.

The part that is not "yes" is that we don't have to see this election as the "final nail in the coffin" of Australia. It is tempting to fall into the despair trap and believe our fate is sealed forever. It is understandable but unproductive to lie down and accept that we chose to wreck our world and continue on a path of destruction - and that's the end of that.

Now is the time to get up, dust ourselves off, and continue to push for responsible government and responsible action.

Remember that about half the country did vote for a fairer, more compassionate country. Half of us want to repair our damaged rivers, look after our farmland and forests, protect our remaining wildlife, and do what we can to save the reef. Around one in two Australians know that we will sooner rather than later need to work with the rest of the world to deal with climate migration. We will need to continue to produce food, feed and fibre for more people despite the worsening weather. To survive if not thrive we will need to work as a cohesive society, not the divided nation that people like the execrable Peter Dutton want.

That means we must continue to do what we can, but do it better. We need to continue to push for businesses and industries to take the lead where our federal government won't. We need to support the efforts of state governments to expand renewable energy and get off the fossil fuel train. And we need to demand accountability and openness from our politicians. We need to make sure everyone can see the impact of making the rich richer, the poor poorer, and the land and water degraded.

We might not succeed. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

Australians yesterday chose a rocky road, maybe confusing it with the sweet. We could have chosen a slightly smoother (though still rough) path, but we didn't. Let's do what we can to show the world Australia can be better.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

How about changing and clarifying IPCC targets for global mean temperature

Sou | 5:25 PM Go to the first of 29 comments. Add a comment
The aim is to limit global warming to 1.5 C above pre-industrial temperatures; however, there has long been some contention and confusion around what is meant by the targets of 1.5 C and 2 C.

I don't know that anyone will ever agree on what pre-industrial means exactly, which gives a lot of room for inept leaders to wriggle out of their obligations. That's why I'm suggesting the IPCC and its member countries set and agree on targets where the meaning is clear, tangible, more precise, and to which people can relate more readily.

My idea is to change the simple message of 1.5 C or 2 C above pre-industrial to 1 C or 1.5 C above the 1951-1980 mean.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A portrait of a denier: Sheldon Walker trolls RealClimate

Sou | 11:04 PM Go to the first of 88 comments. Add a comment
While we're trying to cope with this dastardly Australian heat wave, I'm avoiding hard work. Instead, here's some entertainment in the form of a self-portrait of a denier.

I don't know why deniers take offense at being called deniers. After all, all they boast about is how the science is wrong, the scientists are frauds, and they don't "believe in" science. They delight in their denial.

There's an entire post at the climate conspiracy blog WUWT today about how offensive it is for scientists to call science deniers "deniers". The WUWT article is from Sheldon Walker, who's been here in the past to get some tips. On another occasion I wrote about a pickle he got into. He's an odd chap :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

El Niño has been cancelled

Sou | 11:27 PM Go to the first of 50 comments. Add a comment
In case you missed it, the latest ENSO wrap-up from the Bureau of Meteorology has downgraded El Niño status from "alert" to "watch". The atmosphere didn't come to the party and so it's no longer as likely to happen imminently.

An El Niño might still emerge in coming months, based on model outlooks.


From the Bureau:
ENSO Outlook lowered to El Niño WATCH
Recent observations and climate model outlooks suggest the immediate risk of El Niño has passed.

However, there remains an increased likelihood that El Niño will develop later in 2019. The Bureau's ENSO Outlook has therefore moved to El Niño WATCH, meaning there is approximately a 50% chance of El Niño developing during the southern hemisphere autumn or winter.

Tropical Pacific sea surface and sub-surface temperatures remain warmer than average, but since late 2018 they have cooled from El Niño-like values towards ENSO-neutral values. Atmospheric indicators such as cloudiness, trade winds and the Southern Oscillation Index all continue to generally remain within the ENSO-neutral range.

While most climate models indicate ENSO-neutral conditions for the immediate future, the current ocean warmth and likelihood of ongoing warmer than average conditions mean the risk of El Niño remains. Three of eight models suggest that El Niño may establish by mid-2019.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is neutral. The IOD typically has little influence on Australian climate from December to April.

By the way, no matter what some cranks might try to tell you, El Niño isn't what's causing global warming. "It's getting hotter because it's getting hotter" isn't an adequate explanation for climate change!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Trump was only joking - sez WUWT. (Global warming is happening)

Sou | 1:02 PM Go to the first of 21 comments. Add a comment
Are climate science deniers' opinions changing? (Short answer, No, but they are very confused little mites.)

Eric Worrall, a nondescript but prolific "guest" on the conspiracy blog WUWT said that when Donald Trump tweeted about snow and global warming he was only joking. Eric wrote (archived here):
Climate change activists simply cannot seem to handle even a joke which contradicts their obsession, without getting riled about it and providing long boring monologues about why they disagree with whatever was said.